The Marian Board of Directors has named Michele Romero Ernst President of Marian, effective June 1, 2022. Ernst, currently a vice president at Fiserv, a Fortune 500 company, is a proven leader in her industry and within the Omaha community.  After graduating from Marian in 1981, she earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska – Omaha. Her career spanned several client-facing, development and executive roles in Omaha corporations, with First Data / Fiserv as the bookends of her corporate career. Ernst is a relationship builder with strong communication skills and extensive experience in all aspects of organizational leadership. She and her husband Dave are parents to eight adult children; three daughters graduated from Marian.  

In Ernst, the Marian community welcomes a leader who embodies Marian’s core values. She is deeply committed to her Catholic faith and is eager to find new expression of her faith in Marian’s mission-driven work. Ernst lives an example of compassionate service. She served as an adjunct member on the marketing and enrollment committees of Marian’s board. She has served as a volunteer and board member for several Omaha nonprofits and has led initiatives supporting leadership and employee diversity at Fiserv (formerly First Data Corporation). As an alumna, she is a testament to the lifelong values instilled by a Marian education.

The search for Marian’s president was national in scope and included input from the Marian community, according to Beth Engel, chair of Marian’s Board of Directors and chair of the selection committee.Michele is an enthusiastic leader who will propel Marian’s mission and is uniquely able to develop donor relationships, to envision and implement new enrollment strategies, to collaborate with administrators, faculty and staff, and to inspire students,” said Engel.

Founded by the Servants of Mary in 1955, the school shares its campus with the sisters who built their motherhouse here over 90 years ago. “We have picked the best leader for Marian for now and into the future, and I look forward to Michele’s growing connection with the Servants of Mary,” said Sr. Jackie Ryan, U.S./Jamaica Community Prioress.

Ernst will follow Mary Higgins, who will retire at the end of May after eight years as Marian president. 

“I am humbled and honored to return to Marian, a place that was so special to me in my formative years. I look forward to building on the legacy of the Marian mission,” said Ernst.